Conspiracy theorists focus on March 4 after presidential inauguration comes and goes

Researcher Mike Rothschild explains why followers of the QAnon conspiracy theory believe that Donald Trump will be inaugurated on Thursday, March 4, a false claim.

WASHINGTON, D.C., USA — On Jan. 20, followers of the baseless QAnon conspiracy theory thought they would see Donald Trump stay in office as president.

It was all part of an event titled "The Storm", where President joe Biden and other members of the "deep state" would end up arrested.

When that didn't happen, many believers stopped believing. However, some hung on, and set their sights on a new date: March 4. 

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It's now tied to a possible threat at the U.S. Capitol.

Some followers now believe that Trump will take office on that date.

Researcher Mike Rothschild spoke with Local 5's Eva Andersen and broke down why followers believe this false claim and how soon we could se an end to this conspiracy.

Local 5 also checked in with “May” (name has been changed), a 21-year-old Midwestern woman whose mom has followed QAnon for months. May’s mom even bought a one-way ticket to Utah to go to a doomsday shelter ahead of the deadly Jan. 6 insurrection, leaving her family behind. 

She says her mom is in extensive therapy. 

“I know there’s been a little bit of healing that my dad has said she’s going through,” May said. “Apparently she’s not talking about it as much with [my dad and sister]. "May says she still avoids talking about politics with her mother and has kept the communication sparse.

“I just want to be back to normal. I want to have my mom back.”

RELATED: Conspiracy Theory Casualties: Personal consequences of false information

Below is a portion of the interview transcript with Rothschild

Eva Andersen: "The Storm," or Trump declaring martial law, didn't happen. So [the average person might think] it's probably going to go away, right? What are your thoughts on this?

Mike Rothschild: Sure. You would think that when you have a movement built around this great event like “The Storm”, like this great, mass-arrest of the Deep State and it doesn’t happen, you would think everybody would go ‘Oh, we’ve been fooled, we’ve been had. I’m going to walk away from this.’ That’s just not the way belief works though. 

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At this point, these people have been involved in years, in some cases. They’ve sacrificed family relationships, friendships. They’ve devoted countless hours to this, sometimes money to it. They’re too invested in it to walk away.

So what happens is the thing that they’ve been hoping for changes. So it used to be that they were hoping for this great arrest of the “Deep State” and all the ‘horrible people’ would be sent to Guantanamo Bay and be disposed of forever. Well that’s clearly not going to happen now. 

But what they can hope for is that Donald Trump will be rightfully restored to his place in the Oval Office.

If you have a loved one who believes in QAnon, you can seek support here.

Andersen: So what do [QAnon followers] think is going to happen and how many Q supporters truly think that something’s going to happen?

Rothschild: March 4 is the new date that a lot of Q believers think will be the real inauguration of Donald Trump, and it’s based on this nonsensical interpretation of this law from 1871 called the District of Columbia Organic Act, which gave Washington D.C. its first municipal government. 

What these people think is that this law turned the United States into a corporation, which is based on a misreading of the word “incorporation.” So these people think that since 1871, the United States has basically been a gigantic company, like a Walmart or something and that every President since then has been a fake president. And that we inaugurate our presidents on March 4 because that’s what was in the original Constitution, not in the 20th Amendment which was passed by the “fake Congress” elected in a “fake election.” 

It makes no sense whatsoever. It’s not designed to. It doesn’t have to make sense. It doesn’t have to fit together.

What matters is that people look at that date as the fulfillment of the prophecy.

Now the question of how many Q believers actually believe this is really interesting. Because you have a lot of Q influencers who think that the idea of the March 4 inauguration is itself fake, who think that the Deep State has thrown this conspiracy theory out there to either make QAnon believers look bad, or to gather up the QAnon believers in one place so they can all be arrested.

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Rothschild has a book coming out on QAnon in October, called The Storm is Upon Us.

RELATED: Police uncover ‘possible plot’ by militia to breach Capitol

If you have a loved one who believes in QAnon, you can seek support here.